Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the word of Allah) so that he may hear your recitation of the words of Allah; (and afterward convey him to his place of safety) to the place he is going, if he remains an unbeliever. (That) which I have mentioned (is because they are a folk who know not) Allah's command and His divine Oneness.
And if any one of the idolaters (ahadun, ‘one’, is in the nominative because of the [following] verb [istajāraka, ‘seeks your protection’] that validates it) seeks your protection, requests security from you against being killed, then grant him protection, provide security for him, so that he might hear the words of God — the Qur’ān — and afterward convey him to his place of security, that is, the dwelling-places of his folk, if he does not believe, so that he might reflect upon his situation — that, which is mentioned, is because they are a people who do not know, the religion of God, and so they must [be made to] hear the Qur’ān in order to [come to] know [religion].
Idolators are granted Safe Passage if They seek It
Allah said to His Prophet, peace be upon him,
وَإِنْ أَحَدٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
(And if anyone of the Mushrikin), whom you were commanded to fight and We allowed you their blood and property,'
(seeks your protection), asked you for safe passage, then accept his request until he hears the Words of Allah, the Qur'an. Recite the Qur'an to him and mention a good part of the religion with which you establish Allah's proof against him,
ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُ
(and then escort him to where he can be secure) and safe, until he goes back to his land, his home, and area of safety,
ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْلَمُونَ
(that is because they are men who know not.) The Ayah says, `We legislated giving such people safe passage so that they may learn about the religion of Allah, so that Allah's call will spread among His servants. Ibn Abi Najih narrated that Mujahid said that this Ayah, "Refers to someone who comes to you to hear what you say and what was revealed to you (O Muhammad). Therefore, he is safe until he comes to you, hears Allah's Words and then proceeds to the safe area where he came from.'' The Messenger of Allah used to thereafter grant safe passage to those who came to him for guidance or to deliver a message. On the day of Hudaybiyyah, several emissaries from Quraysh came to him, such as `Urwah bin Mas`ud, Mikraz bin Hafs, Suhayl bin `Amr and several others. They came mediating between him and the Quraysh pagans. They witnessed the great respect the Muslims had for the Prophet, which astonished them, for they never before saw such respect for anyone, kings nor czars. They went back to their people and conveyed this news to them; this, among other reasons, was one reason that most of them accepted the guidance. When Musaylimah the Liar sent an emissary to the Messenger of Allah, he asked him, "Do you testify that Musaylimah is a messenger from Allah'' He said, "Yes.'' The Messenger of Allah said,
(I would have cut off your head, if it was not that emissaries are not killed.) That man, Ibn An-Nawwahah, was later beheaded when `Abdullah bin Mas`ud was the governor of Al-Kufah. When it became known that he still testified that Musaylimah was a messenger from Allah, Ibn Mas`ud summoned him and said to him, "You are not delivering a message now!'' He commanded that Ibn An-Nawwahah be decapitated, may Allah curse him and deprive him of His mercy. In summary, those who come from a land at war with Muslims to the area of Islam, delivering a message, for business transactions, to negotiate a peace treaty, to pay the Jizyah, to offer an end to hostilities, and so forth, and request safe passage from Muslim leaders or their deputies, should be granted safe passage, as long as they remain in Muslim areas, until they go back to their land and sanctuary.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Here "the months made unlawful" are not those four months during which war is forbidden for the sake of Haj and `Umrah but the four months that were made unlawful for the Muslims to make any attack on the mushriks, who were granted respite by v. 2.
That is, "Mere repentance from disbelief and shirk will not end the matter. but they shall have to perform the prescribed prayer and pay Zakat dues. Without these it will not be considered that they had given up disbelief and embraced Islam. " Hadrat Abu Bakr based his decision on this verse in the case of the apostates, after the death of the Holy Prophet, who argued that they were not the rejecters of Islam, because they offered Salat, even though they had refused to pay the Zakat dues. This argument roused doubts in the minds of the Companions in general that they had no right to fight with such people as these. But Hadrat Abu Bakr removed their doubts, saying, "Verse 5 enjoins us to let those people go their way who fulfill all the three conditions- repentance from shirk, the establishment of Salat and the payment of Zakat. We cannot forbear them, because they do not fulfill one of these three conditions."
That is, "if during a fight, an enemy makes a request that he should be given an opportunity to understand Islam, the Muslims should give him a surety of protection and allow him to visit them. They should then present Islam before him in order to make him understand it. If, after this, he does not embrace Islam, they should convey him safely to his place". Such a person who comes to Dar-ul-Islam under the above mentioned protection is called musta'min in the Islamic Code.